GORDON Baxter, who helped transform the small family firm his grandparents set up in the 19th century into a household name, has died at the age of 95.

A spokesman for the Baxter family, famous for its soups, confirmed that he had died on Friday surrounded by family.

He said: "Mr Baxter became an iconic Scottish business figure during his tenure of the world famous Fochabers-based family business. He passed over control to his daughter Audrey Baxter, the fourth generation to run the business, in 1992.

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"Over the years, with his brother Ian and their wives they worked tirelessly to build the foundations of a business that grew over many years achieving great success."

There will be a private family funeral later this week and a memorial service later in the year in the village of Fochabers.

The company now commands an estimated £130million in sales annually and employs more than 1000.

Mr Baxter, who was married to Ena, was awarded a CBE in 2010 in recognition of his services to business and charity in the north-east of Scotland.

The Baxters Foundation has distributed around £1m to the likes of community halls, the Archie Foundation children's medical charity, local heritage societies and Elgin Youth Cafe.